South Asian Americans protest Modi's crackdown from afar

Religion News Service | 8/15/2019 | Sonia Paul
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(RNS) — In December, after watching on YouTube as Indian police fired tear gas at student protesters at Jamia Islamia University in New Delhi, Bilal Hussain* immediately tried to get hold of his niece, a student there. She told him she had been studying in the library when police stormed the room with tear gas, barricading students inside as they scrambled for cover.

Violence - Muzaffarnager - State - Uttar - Pradesh

Learning that violence was also flaring in Muzaffarnager, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, Hussain tried to reach relatives there by phone and Facebook Messenger. They live in a Muslim enclave where police are alleged to have detained and tortured Muslim children and raided Muslim homes while chanting Hindu nationalist slogans and Islamophobic slurs. Hussain was frightened for their lives. With internet and phone lines suspended in the area, it took days before he could reach them.

From his home in Southern California, Hussain, 36, felt a disquiet he has known since he was a child. Born in Chicago, where India’s religious divides are often replicated in the South Asian diaspora in the U.S., he grew up conscious of violence and bigotry, both in India and at home.

Time - Community

“It’s time that we hold the local community accountable,” he said.

This weekend (Jan. 18-19), Hussain will help to lead protests to do just that. South Asian Americans will demonstrate in Indian districts throughout the U.S. — from Pioneer Boulevard in Artesia, California, near Los Angeles, to Newark Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey — against India’s Citizenship Amendment Act.

Law - Initiative - Prime - Minister - Narendra

The law, an initiative of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, fast-tracks citizenship for refugees of all major South Asian faiths from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have been in India since before 2015 — all faiths, that is, except Muslims. Opponents call it a religion test for...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Religion News Service
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